July 29, 2019
Sun streamed through the blinds in our bedroom at the Sumas Mountain Lodge as I tiptoed out the door. I planned to eat breakfast in the restaurant on the ground floor before getting ready for the big day. We’ve stayed at this rustic hotel many times before, but our previous visits had taken place on the weekend. Apparently they were not open on weekday mornings. Darn.
And so that is how I found myself eating a breakfast of microwaved oatmeal on my wedding day in a gas station in Sumas Washington. A few elderly gentleman sat at a table next to me drinking coffee and chatting amiably. I’d spent a lot of time in gas stations like this one during my 2017 PCT Hike and I felt right at home. I lugged my suitcase across the street to the Sumas City Park and spent a few peaceful moments watching the creek while I waited for my ride.
Bethany and Ava came by a few minutes later to pick me up for my hair appointment. My friend Jarid did a fabulous job of cutting and styling my hair a few days ago, but it was starting to look a little disheveled. A quick trip to Bethany’s hair stylist and my hair looked as good as new.
Soon it was time for our lunchtime reception. We had initially scheduled our reception to take place after the wedding, as is customary, but we decided to switch the two events. We wanted to take advantage of the better lighting in the late afternoon for the wedding photographs. I’ve never been much for tradition anyways.
Lunch was a relaxing and casual affair, except for the fact that we were wearing our wedding clothes. I’d decided long ago to limit the guest list to immediate family, and it was the best decision I made regarding the wedding. We ate lunch at my parents’ house like any other holiday meal, with kids racing around the living room and adults sitting in the dining room chatting over sandwiches. Daniel and I fed each other cake.
And then it was time for the main event. We all piled into our cars for the 1.5-hour trip along the Mt. Baker Highway to Artist Point in the Mt. Baker Wilderness.
I have fond memories of hiking up in the Artist Point area with my parents when I was younger, but haven’t been there in years. I had almost forgotten all about this amazing location until I took a solo overnight backpacking trip to Chain Lakes last year. And now I can’t stay away. Since then I’ve taken Ava on a special aunty-niece hiking trip to Artist Point and, more recently, Daniel and I visited Artist Point to prep for our wedding.
We kept the wedding short and sweet. My brother Jonathan officiated our simple ceremony, with Mt. Shuksan, Mt. Baker and my family as witnesses. We could not drop flower petals on the ground, since Artist Point is a wilderness area, so the kids blew bubbles. Ava presented us with our rings. We said our vows.
First it was my turn:
I love you and your shining beautiful soul.
You bring out the best in me and challenge me to be a better person.
You seek out magic in the little things and bring a sense of joy to life.
Every day with you is an adventure.
I can’t wait to go on more adventures together with you.
Then it was Daniel’s turn:
Katy Shaw, I choose you.
I choose you to share my adventures with
Both the easy and the hard times.
You make me happy.
And make me a better person.
Will you be my wife?
From now until the end of our days.
And that was it.
I am so happy to marry this amazing, wonderful man. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with him.
Here are my favorite photos from the ceremony and our time up at Artist Point. You can click on the images and scroll through the gallery if you’d like to see them in more detail. Credit for the photos below goes to Dan DeWaard from Hatch Photography